Russell Corporation announced today that it has entered into a master licensing agreement with Itochu Fashion System Co., Ltd. for the development of the Spalding brand in Japan. The five-year agreement includes all facets of brand building, from product development to distribution, and includes channels of distribution from large scale sporting goods stores to suburban specialty shops.
According to Scott Creelman, president of Spalding, “As sports become an increasingly instrumental fixture of contemporary life, we believe that Itochu Fashion System Co. can certainly further heighten our stature as a sporting brand. Itochu has a reputation for building brands and developing business that is second to none in Japan. They understand that sports now involve not only people engaged in them, but lifestyles that encompass sports on a variety of levels including spectators.”
“With the mounting concern about wellness in recent years, sports have come to be regarded as an integral part of a health lifestyle. They have also evolved into a key theme in the fashion field. As such, the world of sports is expanding its borders even further. For example, this year will see the birth of the 'bj League,' Japan's first professional basketball league. Spalding is committed to spreading the new spirit in all of its doings,” said Junji Miyake, president of Itochu Fashion System.
About Russell Corporation
Russell Corporation is a leading branded athletic and sporting goods company with over a century of success in marketing athletic uniforms, apparel and equipment for a wide variety of sports, outdoor and fitness activities. The Company's major brands include Russell Athletic(R), JERZEES(R), Spalding(R), and Brooks(R). The Company's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RML and its website address is http://www.russellcorp.com .